PANTERA deserves respect for setting metal standards that are copied to this day. After 4 independent album releases, they finally got signed and ReInventing Hell is the 6-album, bashing, trademarked journey since.
Cowboys from Hell is the kick-off. It’s very old school and versus today’s hellbent, technologically supported metal, it’s uninspiring but ‘Cemetary Gates’ is an important track because it demonstrated the melodic side of PANTERA. The church of PANTERA worshipers debate whether Vulgar Display of Power or The Great Southern Trendkill is the greater release. Here, the compilers have decided it’s the former by including four tracks versus Trendkill’s one. ‘Walk’ and ‘This Love’ are PANTERA’s most well known songs but it’s ‘Mouth For War’ that lays the razor carpet for one of my favourites, the thrashing representative, ‘Fucking Hostile’. ‘Drag the Waters’ is Trendkill’s representative.
Far Beyond Driven was an uninventive CD yet several tracks have been included and if pushed to choose between them, i’d go for the cover of BLACK SABBATH’s drifting ‘Planet Caravan’. The sole survivor from Reinventing the Steel is ‘Revolution Is My Name’. Phil Anselmo screams “What is my name?” in the midst of strong drumming and wicked guitaring. It’s one of their best.
It’s always difficult making a best of CD but i can’t help demanding where the hell are ‘A Bottle of Pills’ and ‘ Floods’? Consolation arrives with bonus tracks being the live ‘Where You Come From’, ‘Immortally Insane’ (great ,fucking sinister song previously only found on the Heavy Metal 2000 compilation) and ‘The Badge (Crow soundtrack).
I salute PANTERA for they deserve their place in Hell. They were a breakthru and never sold out but the cold flipside is that by remaining relatively unchanged, they competed against so many new bands that outpaced them when it came to winning new fans.